2010 NFL Mock Draft 1st Round: How Far Will Clausen Fall? Version 2.0
Here's the latest update of my 2010 NFL mock draft. The draft order is based on each team's regular season record and my NFL playoff projections.
Tune in next week for another update, and feel free to comment on what you think of my picks and whether you like your favorite team's pick.
1. St. Louis Rams—Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
For the past couple of months, I was certain that the Rams would take a QB, but now I'm certain that they will take Suh with Clausen's stock falling. He had a phenomenal senior season for Nebraska.
Suh had a spectacular Big 12 Championship Game performance. He exposed Colt McCoy, notching four-and-a-half sacks that day. He even got invited as a Heisman Trophy finalist and placed fourth in the voting.
He was terrific in the Holiday Bowl, and Arizona was humiliated with a 33-0 score. There was no way around Suh. He had 12 sacks on the season, and he can play in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, which will benefit him in the NFL. He has been compared to Kevin Williams.
He's an excellent teammate too. He's a rare gem that comes around once every 5-10 years, and the Rams can take Jake Locker next year.
2. Detroit Lions—Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Lions should take Russell Okung, but their management is incompetent.
Their offensive line coach, George Yarno, has somehow praised tackle Jeff Backus, and head coach Jim Schwartz thinks Backus should have gone to the Pro Bowl. Another genius in Detroit.
Yet quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered injuries in his rookie year with no protection. Another genius in Detroit. The Lions should have taken Michael Oher last year.
They need help on defense, too. McCoy may be the most talented DT in the draft. McCoy is an elite defensive tackle. He has great intangibles, is explosive with high stamina, and helped Oklahoma's defensive line hold Toby Gerhart to 4.2 ypc during the Sun Bowl, his lowest ypc of the season.
However, he may need to bulk up a little, weighing in at 295 pounds.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Berry may be the most talented player in the whole 2010 NFL Draft class. He is often compared to Ed Reed. He is just the kind of playmaker every G.M. dreams of.
The Buccaneers have a screwy situation here since they need a DT, but Suh and McCoy are both off the board. The Buccaneers have a pretty good pass defense, but no other needs that the Buccaneers have are worthy of being addressed with a No. 3 pick, so Berry is a value pick here.
4. Washington Redskins—Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Bradford may be taking back the position of top QB prospect since Jimmy Clausen will have to skip the Combine to get surgery for torn ligaments. This is a big opportunity for Bradford.
With Mike Shanahan as the new Redskins' coach, he will want to make a fresh start by drafting a franchise QB, and owner Daniel Snyder likes going for big-name players.
Bradford has injury concerns, but when he was healthy, he was the most dominant college QB. However, scouts will be concerned about whether he can play under center since he played in a spread shotgun offense at Oklahoma.
5. Kansas City Chiefs—Russell Okung, T, Oklahoma State
The Chiefs have no offensive line, and Matt Cassel will continue to get beaten up if the they don't take a tackle now and move Branden Albert back to guard.
Okung is a rare gem of a tackle prospect. He has amazing leadership skills and is a four-year starter. He can be expected to start from day one.
6. Seattle Seahawks—Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The Seahawks finished 30th in the NFL in pass defense, and they have been lacking a reliable CB and S for a couple years now.
Haden is the best CB in college football. He led Florida's dominant defense.
Matt McGuire even compared him to Bengals CB Leon Hall in his scouting report on walterfootball.com.
7. Cleveland Browns—Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
DE Corey Williams has said that he is unhappy in Cleveland, and he is getting limited playing time, so he will likely be traded away, so the Browns will need a DE to replace him.
Since Joe Haden is taken and there's no other CB worth taking this high, the Browns can take Morgan, who anchored Georgia Tech's defense with 12 sacks.
8. Oakland Raiders—Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland
Al Davis loves players that can run a fast 40 time, and Campbell can run a 4.9, which is very fast for a tackle.
The Raiders need offensive line help badly. The Raiders will not likely take Clausen since Davis likes a QB with a really strong arm, and Clausen doesn't fit that mold.
9. Buffalo Bills—Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Bills have been having problems at QB, and if Clausen falls this far, they won't be able to pass on him.
They could go for a tackle since Edwards can be a decent QB when he's well protected, but Clausen isn't someone the Bills will be able to resist.
The reason I have Clausen going after Bradford and falling this far is because of his prima donna attitude and abrasive personality, which will likely turn many G.M.'s off, and Bradford has a great attitude.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars—Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
I'm hopping off the Tim Tebow to Jacksonville bandwagon since I read in Sporting News that some of the management doesn't want him, and this would be way too high for Tebow to be picked.
The Jaguars have been having major rush defense problems. Cody was a big part of Alabama's national title and their top-ranked defense, and he is a great teammate.
11. Denver Broncos(from Chicago)—Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Brandon Marshall is a free agent, and he will more than likely leave Denver. He was disgruntled when he was there. The Broncos will want to replace him, if he leaves, and Bryant is the top receiver in the draft.
12. Miami Dolphins—Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Since Cody is taken and there is no DT worth taking this high, the Dolphins can fill a hole at inside linebacker, and McClain is perfect here. He was the heart of Alabama's defense and makes many tackles.
13. San Francisco 49ers—Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers
The 49ers' offensive line struggled, and Adam Snyder was terrible. Tony Pashos had a career-ending injury, and the depth on the already bad line is thin, so the 49ers will want to fix that.
Davis declared for the NFL Draft, and his draft stock has been rising.
14. Seattle Seahawks(from Denver)—Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa
The Seahawks need a left tackle badly because someone always gets close to Matt Hasselbeck, and the protection needs to improve. Hasselbeck gets injured way too often.
Walter Jones is on IR and is too injury-prone to continue playing football. Looks like the Seahawks should have drafted Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher when they had the chance.
15. New York Giants—C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Giants need depth at RB since Ahmad Bradshaw is a free agent, and Brandon Jacobs will need a new complement if he leaves.
Spiller is an explosive, speedy RB who can run a 4.2 and compares to Chris Johnson, this year's rushing champion.
16. Tennessee Titans—Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan
The Titans need a CB badly to replace Nick Harper, who is 34 and now a free agent. He performed poorly this year for the Titans, contributing to their No. 31 ranking in pass defense. Cortland Finnegan is a great CB, but he needs a reliable CB across from him.
Warren may be a bit of a reach here, but there's no DE worth taking here, and the Titans don't have any other needs. Warren had four interceptions in his junior year at Michigan, and if the Titans grab him, their pass defense could return to being solid assuming safeties Michael Griffin and Chris Hope get back on track.
17. San Francisco 49ers(from Carolina)—Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Thomas had a phenomenal year. He had eight interceptions for 149 yards and two returned for touchdowns.
The 49ers' pass defense is a weak spot. CBs Nate Clements and Dre Bly aren't reliable anymore and are way past their primes. Clements always gets injured, and Bly is old. S Mark Roman requested a trade, and he was mediocre for the 49ers, so they really need a free safety, and Thomas would be perfect for the 49ers' defense.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers—Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma
The Steelers need help at offensive line, and RT Willie Colon is terrible. Many Steelers fans want him to move to guard, and Mike Tomlin has said he won't do that. However, he may draft a right tackle to compete for the starting job.
Williams is a Third-team All-American, and he anchored Oklahoma's offensive line after linemen such as Phil Loadholt and Duke Robinson left for the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger gets sacked a lot for a reason. He needs a lineman like Williams rather than an unreliable lineman like Colon.
19. Atlanta Falcons—Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The Falcons need an upgrade at outside linebacker over aging Mike Peterson, who is close to retirement.
Weatherspoon has top-15 talent and could start for the Falcons right away. The Falcons need to improve their struggling defense.
20. Houston Texans—Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
The Texans need a defensive tackle badly. Amobi Okoye is a bust, and the Texans have a hole in the interior. They have Mario Williams, who is a beast and was the right choice after all. Antonio Smith is pretty good too, so if they draft a DT, their rush defense will improve even more.
Williams' draft stock has been rising, and he is known as the best NT after Terrence Cody.
21. Cincinnati Bengals—Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Gresham is the best TE in college football, and the Bengals need a receiving threat. They could either go with a WR or Gresham. Gresham is the best option here. He sat out this season injured, but when he played, he was dominant, and he has the skills to succeed in the NFL.
22. New England Patriots—Jerry Hughes, DE/LB, TCU
The Patriots need to improve their rush defense. With Adalius Thomas declining due to age, they will need a new pass rusher that plays in a 3-4 defense.
Hughes has got to be one of the most underrated players in college football. He is a two-time First-Team All-American, and the Patriots need help on their rush defense.
23. Green Bay Packers—Charles Brown, T, USC
Brown had a great senior year at USC, and he was named a Sporting News First-Team All-American. He fits the Packers' scheme perfectly, and Chad Clifton needs to be replaced since he will be a free agent.
The offensive line struggled badly the first half of the season. While they improved, it would still be foolish to not draft a tackle if there is one valuable enough in the first round.
24. Philadelphia Eagles—Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Victor Abiamiri has been struggling, and the Eagles' rush defense has been kind of shaky as a result, so Abiamiri should be replaced. Andy Reid likes drafting O-line and D-line players.
In my previous mock drafts, I had Greg Hardy going to the Eagles. Dunlap has character issues with a DUI arrest before the SEC Championship, and he is lazy and doesn't seem to care much about football, but he has a lot of upside. Reid may see that in Dunlap and believe he can instill discipline in Dunlap.
25. Baltimore Ravens—Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Tate is a First-Team All-American, and he played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame. He followed Clausen to the NFL after Weis was fired.
The Ravens need a receiver badly since Derrick Mason will probably retire, and Mark Clayton is not reliable. He constantly drops passes. These factors are definitely contributing to Flacco's passing struggles.
26. Arizona Cardinals—Sergio Kindle, DE/LB, Texas
Kindle performed very well in the BCS Title Game. He had eight tackles and two sacks against Alabama. He had six sacks this year and 10 last year.
The Cardinals need a pass rusher since Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor are both free agents and not likely to be re-signed since they're both in their mid-30s.
27. Dallas Cowboys- Taylor Mays, S, USC
The Cowboys need a safety since their pass defense couldn't contain Brett Favre, and Jerry Jones loves big-name players. Mays is a three-time All-American and a hard hitter.
28. San Diego Chargers—Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
JPP's draft stock has been rising, and he is a good candidate for being a surprise first-round draft pick since he has so much upside, and A.J. Smith will probably be impressed by him.
The Chargers need a DE since they couldn't contain Shonn Greene when they were upset by the Jets.
29. Minnesota Vikings—Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
The Vikings need a QB since Favre will retire after next season, and Ryan Mallett announced that he will return to Arkansas for his senior season, so he's no longer an option.
The Vikings don't have any real needs, so they might as well have a young QB sit behind Favre for a year. Tebow has a phenomenal work ethic and a lot of upside even though many draft experts say he won't be good in the NFL.
30. Indianapolis Colts—Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss
The Colts will need a defensive end in 2011 since Robert Mathis will be a free agent, and they don't have any needs, so they might as well take one now, and Hardy is valuable enough to be a late first-round pick.
31. New York Jets—Damian Williams, WR, USC
The Jets need a wide receiver because Braylon Edwards has been a disappointment. He is extremely talented, but he drops way too many passes, so the Jets will not pay to re-sign him. Sanchez has been efficient in the playoffs, but he doesn't have very many passing yards because he has pretty much nobody to throw to, and Shonn Greene and the Jets' defense has picked up a lot of the slack.
32. New Orleans Saints—Brian Price, DT, UCLA
Price had a great year at UCLA with 23.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
The Saints need depth at their defensive line, and Charles Grant won't be around much longer, and Sedrick Ellis gets injured often, so Price would be a great pick for the Saints.